Artificial turf is great for so many reasons. It’s easy to manage. It saves money. It’s good for the environment. It always looks good. You can see why so many people choose it.
The biggest ordeal tied to artificial turf is installation. Professional artificial grass installation is available, but it’s always good to know what kind of preparation needs to be done before the turf can be laid.
Here are some tips on how to prepare the ground before laying artificial grass.
Clear the Ground
Grass, weeds, or any other plant growth are bad for your turf. It can grow through the layers and damage everything. It also looks terrible to have natural growth in the middle of turf. To prevent this, the first step in prepping the ground is clearing it of plant life.
For plants that you like, you can try to transplant them to a different spot that won’t interfere with the turf. For anything else, ground clear herbicides will make everything easier. You’re not planning to ever grow plants where the turf goes, so you can use the strong stuff. Kill the plants and completely uproot them. This is the vital first step.
The second thing you want to do is manage drainage. This is a very important factor in preparing the ground before laying down artificial grass.
If water pools on the turf, it can cause a lot of problems, so you want to make sure that isn’t an issue. A lot of this depends on location. If the turf is going on a relatively high spot where pooling isn’t a concern, the next step is going to handle a lot of drainage issues, so there’s little work to do here.
If the turf area does pool, you want to dig and install adequate drainage to resolve the issue. You can use a ton of different drainage options. As long as pooling is no longer an issue before the turf is installed, you’re good on this front.
Lay the Base
This is the crux of what most people consider turf preparation. The ground is clear, and drainage is resolved. Now you’re going to move some earth.
The essence of this step is to create a level pad for turf installation. To do that, you’re going to remove about three inches of topsoil from the installation area.
Once the ground is removed, it is replaced with crushed rock, sand, or gravel. This filler constitutes the turf base. After three inches of base is added, it is packed. Additional base filler is added again to get back up to the ground level. It’s packed again, and the process is repeated until there is a firm base that is even with the ground.
The end result should be a firm, level base. This base can handle a fair amount of water absorption, and it helps prevent weed growth (although more intervention is necessary). It also ensures that the turf will be comfortable underfoot and won’t shift over time.
You’re almost ready for the turf itself. The last preparation step is weed prevention.
The weeds are gone. The base makes it harder for weed seeds to germinate, but it’s still not impossible. You want a quality weed barrier to go over the base. This creates multiple layers of weed protection, and together, they make it nigh impossible for weeds to get through everything.
Your base already puts a few inches of infertile rock between seeds and the soil they need to grow. That’s a great start. The weed barrier then prevents sunlight from reaching the base. This stops germination before it can occur.
It also adds a layer that keeps seeds from getting to the soil. The turf that goes on top of the weed barrier will be the third level of defense, and those three levels are almost always enough.
Install the Turf
Preparation is done. It’s time for the turf to be installed. When we install turf, we go through several layers and a multistep process. Rather than take you through all of that, we can simplify. We’ll install every level of turf, and that process will largely depend on the type of turf you select. When the installation is complete, you will have a lush green lawn that is level, pleasant underfoot, protected from weeds, safe from flooding, and beautiful all year long.
When you understand the preparation necessary for installation, it’s easier to gauge how much of the process you want to handle on your own. Most of it is pretty easy, but compacting the base is best done with electric equipment. We can handle preparation as part of the installation process, but if you prefer to manage aspects of it on your own, we’re happy to work with you on that.
What matters most is that you can have the artificial grass that you want. If you’re in Austin, all you have to do is contact LawnPop to get started.